(GPA) Damascus – Four million people have been without water in Syria’s capital for a week. The West blames the government for disrupting the supply of water but Russia says their reports show it may be poisoned.
Currently about 65 percent of Damascus is without water. Despite what western media will tell you about the cause of this (more on that later), it is well known that the springs that supply this water are in an area outside the city currently controlled by Islamist rebels.
The Syrian government accused rebels of poisoning the reservoir at Ein al Fija springs. The Syrian army is currently engaged in a bombing and artillery campaign to retake the area of the Wadi Barada valley, northwest of Damascus. The area is currently occupied by militants with Ahrar al-Sham, a group who previously fought alongside Jahbat al-Nusra and is officially deemed a terrorist group by Russia. Members of the former al-Nusra, now Fetah al-Sham, are also still holed up in the area.
These militants have reportedly dumped diesel fuel and other contaminants into the water supply. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has confirmed that the water is poisoned and said that “infrastructure was deliberately targeted and damaged.”
Western media is blaming the water shut offs on the bombing campaign and accusing the Syrian army of both destroying the infrastructure as well as violating the recently enacted ceasefire (Fetah al-Sham is not a part of the agreement). This is hard to believe since even in these reports by the mainstream media, they admit residents of Damascus could originally get water but were complaining that it didn’t smell or taste right.
Damascus is currently the safest city in Syria and a stronghold of proponents of the Assad government. It is highly unlikely the Syrian forces would do anything to damage one of their greatest assets. Even recent refugees that evacuated from East Aleppo have gone to Damascus in search of a safe haven. These factors make it highly unlikely that it was Syrian government forces that “deliberately targeted and damaged” these targets.
The city is currently running on reserves of drinking water allowing for two hours a day to the affected neighborhoods. Bottle water prices have skyrocketed in the city and both government departments and civilian organizations are currently delivering clean water to the affected regions every day.